TSU, UH & CAMAC Int’l. Partner with South Africa Trust to Aid Students
Dr. John M. Rudley, center, TSU President and Dr. Sunny Ohia, TSU Provost and Vice President, present the Honorary Degree to His Excellency Dr. Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa.
The President of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob G. Zuma, was in Houston on Friday, September 23, to announce a new educational partnership amongst CAMAC, International; Texas Southern University, University of Houston, and the Jacob G. Zuma RDP Educational Trust. The new partnership will support South African students coming to Houston to study at TSU for business and at UH for engineering. The program will begin in January 2012 with 3 students enrolling at Texas Southern and UH.
President Zuma announced the partnership during TSU’s Founders Day celebration. The University awarded the honorary doctoral degree in humane letters to President Zuma during the special ceremony.
“We’re enormously pleased to be able to work with the Jacob G. Zuma RDP Educational Trust, Texas Southern University and the University of Houston,” said Mr. Kamoru Lawal, President of CAMAC International Corporation. “We are committed to supporting academic enrichment and share the belief that there can be no true global economic progress without a sincere and sustained commitment to education.”
“This unique partnership between the university, an international corporation, and a national trust will not only impact the South African students who choose to attend Texas Southern, but it also will enhance the academic experience of our students who attend classes with these international students. This is a great beginning for expanded student and faculty exchanges with South African universities,” said TSU President John M. Rudley.
Mr. Sizwe Shezi, Chairman of the Jacob G. Zuma RDP Educational Trust said, “This contribution by the Trust has been made possible by the vision of its Patron, His Excellency President Jacob G Zuma, who believes that education is the one real and sustainable form of empowerment, and is supported by the generosity and kindness of various donors, sponsors and stakeholders who share a common vision of an educated society.”
Dr. Jerry Strickland, University of Houston System’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Studies, expressed appreciation for this new partnership. “We are pleased to expand our international relationships with South Africa and bring new students to our engineering program.”
“I am deeply humbled to receive this honor. Human development and education are very important for a developing country like South Africa. We truly appreciate this partnership with TSU as it will play a significant role in uplifting our people, particularly the youth,” President Zuma said.
Founders Day at Texas Southern University celebrates the university’s earliest beginnings in 1927. Keynote speaker for the celebration this year was Dr. John S. Wilson, Jr., Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust was formed in 1995 by its Patron, His Excellency
Jacob G Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, who was then a Member of
the Executive Council of the Province of KwaZulu –Natal.
The initial aim of the trust was to provide access to education at all levels for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable youth in society, focusing mainly on the rural areas of KwaZulu Natal. However, the Trust soon realized that while basic education was an important area to support, the need to help fund students to further their studies post school was even greater. Consequently, the Trust increased the number of bursaries for tertiary education.
Beyond providing bursaries and scholarships for disadvantaged youth the trust also plays a pivotal role in removing the financial barriers that prevent young people from receiving access to the best possible education. Furthermore, it seeks to be relevant to the South African economy as well as addressing the shortage of skills in various fields. As such the key focus is on mathematics, science, technology, agriculture, tourism, finance and accounting as well as development studies. In the 2011 academic year 275 students are studying science and engineering with 180 focusing on accounting and finance.
With many of the beneficiaries hailing from the rural areas it is hoped they will take their skills back to their communities to help develop and empower the youth further.
Since its inception and with the help of donors and sponsors R45 million has been invested in the education of disadvantaged youth. For 2011 alone in excess of R25 million has been budgeted to cover tuition and accommodation fees as well as meals and book allowances for students. Infrastructure and facilities are also an important focus; and the Trust is closely aligned with the private sector in facilitating the expansion of schools to ensure that the necessary culture of learning and teaching is achieved.
Over the years the trust has touched the lives of more than 20,000 young people and is currently assisting over 1200 beneficiaries at the tertiary and basic education levels. These young people will all now have a winning chance in life.
In January 2012, the Trust with the help of sponsors, plans to send three of its beneficiaries to study at Texas Southern University and the University of Houston.